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Are You Ready to Start a Family?

17 Oct 2016

Having a child is a BIG life event. It is absolutely exciting, wonderful and life changing. But Parenthood is a lot of work with no end in sight. This is a decision that cannot be taken lightly. It is important therefore to prepare yourself and your partner – emotionally and physically — so that both of you can be as ready as possible to welcome this momentous event.

Is The Time Right?

There’s never a perfect time to have a baby; some phases of life may be more conducive to pregnancy and new parenthood than others. One thing is for sure: babies don’t come with a manual and for the most part, you and your partner will have to end up making all sorts of adjustments to suit the little one. Not the other way round.  Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if the time is right:

  • How will having a baby affect our current and future lifestyles or career?
  • Are we ready and willing to make those changes?
  • Emotionally, are we ready to take on parenthood?
  • Financially, can we afford to raise a child?
  • Does my insurance plan cover maternity and newborn care?
  • Do we have access to a good child care support system if I decide to return to work?

Even if you have not thought about these questions before starting a family, you can use this to guide your planning and to stage your way to a healthy pregnancy and enriching parenthood.

Is Your Body Ready?

Healthy lifestyle choices affect your ability to have a healthy pregnancy.

  • If you are a smoker, you may like to get advice to quit smoking
  • It is best to avoid alcohol
  • Eat a balanced and healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep stress under control

If you or your partner is taking any medication, consult your doctor to get advice on whether it will affect your pregnancy. Do likewise if you have a health condition, for example: diabetes or a family history of inherited disease. By consulting with your doctor on these health matters, you and your partner will gain knowledge and be able to increase preparedness to take precautions or necessary treatments during or post pregnancy.